I am an EMDR therapist, having completed all four parts of the training. EMDR is a technique which can be used as a standalone treatment. However, if we are working together in psychotherapy, we may agree to experiment with EMDR as a part of this process.
What is EMDR?
When a person is involved in a distressing event, they may feel overwhelmed and their brain may be unable to process the information as a normal memory. The distressing memory seems to become frozen on a neurological level. When a person recalls the distressing memory, they can re-experience what they saw, heard, smelt, tasted or felt, and this can be quite intense. Sometimes the memories are so distressing, the person tries to avoid thinking about them in order to avoid experiencing the distressing feelings.
Some find that the distressing memories come to mind when something reminds them of the event, or sometimes the memories seem to just pop into mind. The alternating left-right stimulation of the brain with eye movements, sounds or taps during EMDR, seems to stimulate the frozen or blocked information processing system.
In the process the distressing memories seem to lose their intensity, so that they are less distressing and seem more like ‘ordinary’ memories. The effect is believed to be similar to that which occurs naturally during REM(rapid eye movement) sleep when your eyes rapidly move from side to side. EMDR helps to reduce the distress of all types of memories, whether it was what you saw, heard, smelt, tasted, felt or thought.